Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 1


The Federal Security Service claimed that more than 200 separatist fighters were killed and more than 900 people detained on suspicion of “involvement in terrorist activities” in Chechnya during 2004, reported on January 3. The rebels, for their part, claimed they killed nearly that many Russian soldiers during the last week of 2004: Chechenpress reported on December 31 that 106 federal troops were killed and at least 120 wounded over December 25-31. Meanwhile, a source in the headquarters of Russia’s military operation in Chechnya told RIA Novosti on January 2 that six policemen and Interior Ministry troops were wounded in the early hours of January 1 in three separate rebel attacks – two in Grozny and one in the Kurchaloev district.


A group calling itself the “Jamaat of Dagestan ‘Shariat'” claimed responsibility for the December 27 and December 30 attacks that killed officers of Dagestan’s Interior Ministry, the Kavkazky Uzel website reported on January 3, citing Azeri-Press. Police Colonel Ferezulah Abdullaev, a prison warden, was killed December 27 in a drive-by shooting outside his home in Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala, the Associated Press reported. On December 30, the head of the Dagestani Interior Ministry’s operational department, Gajiramazan Ramazanov, his wife and an officer of the same department, Nizami Bukarov, were shot dead while driving through Makhachkala, RIA-Novosti reported. The “Shariat” group also claimed responsibility for the December 27 explosion outside the training center for the patrol and sentry service and the OMON special purpose police detachment in Makhachkala, Kavkazcenter reported on January 2. No one was hurt in the blast.


In an interview published in Moskovsky komsomolets on December 22, the newspaper’s Mark Deich asked Federation Council Vice-speaker Aleksandr Torshin, who heads the parliamentary commission investigating the circumstances surrounding the Beslan terrorist act, to comment on Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev’s claim in an interview last year that he continues his fight “thanks to deductions from the Russian Federation budget.” “What is there to comment on here?” Torshin responded. “In the mountains, they give from everything – from pensions, from compensation for [destroyed] dwellings…We mainly talk about the financing of terrorists from abroad. Yes, money comes from there – around 10 percent, no more. All the rest [comes from] here. The main source of financing for the bandit units is the Russian Federation budget.”


“Our council has decided to transfer 1 million rubles ($35,700) to those who suffered from the disaster in South East Asia. As soon as we know the bank account number, we will transfer this money. Beslan residents will never forget how the whole world responded to our tragedy. Therefore we will always respond to tragedies of people suffering from both disasters and terrorist attacks worldwide.” — Mairbek Tuayev, the head of the Beslan public council, as quoted by Interfax on December 31.